Saturday, August 15, 2009

what's the difference?

i'm not 100% certain that i understand the difference between "relaxing" and "wasting time." i know that today i was finally able to relax, but i also feel like i wasted a lot of time. but was the time really wasted if i relaxed? what a conundrum!

hanging around the house this morning, i did a whole lot of nothing. i watched some tv, i read a bit of my book and then i decided that a leisurely morning wasn't in the cards. i showered and dressed quickly and ran out the door to subtle tea. subtle tea, a small tea cafe near the office, is my weekend work station. with great tea, a long, desk-like table and complimentary wireless internet, it's the perfect place to set up shop for a few hours of weekend work. in fact, i've spent enough time there that some of the other weekend regulars are beginning to look familiar. there's a tall, hairy guy who sits there and stares into space, a gal with some sort of job in finance, and the "barista" who doesn't stand behind the counter, except when there is a customer who requests to order. yes, you have to ask him if you can order and then, and only then, will he get up from the table and walk around to take your oder. today i was sitting next to finance girl. but instead of burying herself in papers and a calculator, she had a laptop and book without a cover. the unmarked book peaked my curiousity and i'll admit that i snuck frequent glances at her computer screen (i, apparently, am the reason they invented privacy shields for computer screens). turns out she was working on her grad school admissions essay and resume. good for her! unfortunately i didn't recognize any of the schools she's applying to. hey, i admitted they were "frequent" glances! other than spying on my neighbor, i was quite productive at subtle tea.

one of my tasks was putting together my updated job description as requested by my boss. i tried not to let it bother me that she was asking for it at all (her email, addressed to all her direct reports, clearly said do not panic), and set out on revising the original one that i received when i was hired. a quick glance at that antiquated piece of paper and i immediately realized that it was less revising and more recreating. in the past two years, my job has evolved into so much more than i was hired for. while adding bullet point after bullet point, i had to constantly silence the voices in my head who were questioning my 10% pay cut. i know it wasn't personal, it was across the board, and meant to be a temporary protective measure for the company until the economy strengthens, but today it just felt frustrating. i've tried my hardest not to be bitter about it, to keep my chin up and my attitude positive, but i'll finally admit that today it was very hard. i'm stopping this here, because i'm not turning this blog into a forum to whine about work.

on my way home from subtle tea, i stopped at the local deli for a quick bite on the go. it's also the deli where i go for lunch some weekdays. the cashier was the same one who works during the week, and he felt so bad that i was schlepping my laptop around on the weekend that he gave me a discount on my snack AND two punches on my frequent buyer card. two more lunches and i'll get a free one (re-read previous paragraph about 10% pay cut). score!

i walked in my apartment around 6:15 and thought to myself, "home from work before 6:30. great!" and then i realized it's saturday. and it's not great that i was out doing work at all. and then i sat on the couch. and i haven't moved since. so was i relaxing? or wasting time? do i really lead such a structured life that i feel guilty for spending 5 hours on the couch watching tv and talking to the cat?

i'm signing off now with this agreement. if i go into work on monday feeling well rested and ready for the week, my relaxing day today wasn't wasted time. if i'm exhausted on monday, well, i don't be doing this again!

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